Program Officer - Immigrant Rights - Tenders Global

Program Officer – Immigrant Rights

Ford Foundation

Program Officer – Immigrant Rights

Ford Foundation

New York, United States


The Ford Foundation’s Gender, Racial and Ethnic Justice (GREJ) thematic area seeks a dynamic, strategic, collaborative Program Officer (PO) to help shape and implement its U.S. Immigrant Rights Portfolio. The long-term goal of our work in this area is to protect and expand the rights, safety, and overall well-being of all immigrants in the United States, enabling them to thrive and live free of fear, regardless of documentation status. Our current grantmaking strategy seeks to balance the long-term need to develop a more secure pro-immigrant base of supporters needed to achieve federal reform, through grassroots organizing, alliance building, and narrative experimentation; while in the short and medium term, investing in efforts to improve the lives of the millions of undocumented immigrants already here through state, local, and administrative policy interventions.

Reporting to the Director of the GREJ unit, the ideal candidate will:

  • Be a strategic thinker who is deeply knowledgeable about current immigration policies, systems, institutions, and practices;
  • Will have broad familiarity with the field of national and state organizations active on immigration policy and rights issues;
  • Understand the roles that policy advocacy, organizing, strategic communications and philanthropy play in advancing social change; and bring a strong understanding of the politics of immigration and their interplay with related interests;
  • Have a strong understanding of organizing and movement-building among communities directly affected by immigration policies, including undocumented migrants, immigrants involved in the US criminal legal system, and other communities of color.


The Immigrant Rights PO will:

  • Manage, monitor and coordinate a grants portfolio, including: long-term grant planning; identifying and working with prospective grantees to develop proposals for grant recommendations; conducting organizational assessments; undertaking periodic reviews of progress with grantees; and reviewing financial and narrative reports;
  • Contribute to the ongoing strategy development, refinement and implementation of the foundation’s Immigrant Rights line of work to scale impact;
  • Engage with grantees to review opportunities, challenges and advances, and encourage collaboration, learning, exchange, and strategic partnerships;
  • Work closely with other funders and with donor collaboratives to encourage philanthropic contributions and align giving to the immigrant rights field;
  • Collaborate broadly across GREJ and other thematic areas on issues relevant to the needs and perspectives of immigrants. Serve as an accessible resource for the field accordingly;
  • Represent the Foundation and its work in key venues with guidance from the GREJ Director and Ford’s Office of Communications;
  • Collaborate internally with other POs in cross-team working groups or committees;
  • Work closely with a grantmaking team of Grants Manager and Program Assistant to manage all aspects of grants processing and compliance;
  • Serve as mentor and coach to a shared Program Associate and directly manage a Program Assistant to ensure effective support to grantees and grantmaking processes;
  • Contribute to the thinking and work of colleagues in the GREJ team, the Foundation and the field of grant seekers and philanthropic peers overall.


  • BA/BS plus at least 8 years of immigrant rights experience in the United States or equivalent combination of education and experience;
  • Deep understanding of issues of immigration systems, institutions, movements, politics, and programs in the United States;
  • Close knowledge of the various mechanisms and venues for public policy change on immigration matters (organizing, legislative, legal, regulatory, applied research, strategic communications);
  • A strong understanding of how to apply intersectional analyses to the strategy, including gender, disability and racial justice;
  • Proven track record of working closely with communities that have been historically marginalized in systems that affect their lives;
  • Direct experience engaging in systemic change initiatives or campaigns, from the purview of government, non-profit advocacy organizations, public interest legal organizations, philanthropy, or the academy;
  • Exceptional leadership – internally and externally — and ability to lead high level engagement with donors and engage in strategic conversations throughout the field;
  • Exceptional communications skills – strong active listening skills, excellent verbal and written skills;
  • Superb analytical skills and ability to strategize, plan, prioritize and identify/assess opportunities, challenges, and institutions with which to engage;
  • Proven ability to engage with a broad variety of stakeholders and in coalition with others, openness and curiosity about new approaches and different points of view;
  • Ability to navigate a large and complex institution; willingness to participate constructively on organizational priorities beyond the immediate focus of this portfolio; comfort with institutional change and periods of ambiguity;
  • Written and oral fluency in English; knowledge and/or fluency in Spanish a plus;
  • Familiarity with international migration organizations and trends is a plus.

Apply Now

Don’t forget to mention when applying.

Share this Job

To help us track our recruitment effort, please indicate in your email/cover letter where ( you saw this job posting.

Job Location